Operation EASTER 2016 - stopping egg thieves and egg collectors

Wild birds are now nesting - many have already laid eggs - and the national campaign to protect them is underway. Egg thieves will go to any lengths to raid the nests of rare species but Operation EASTER is determined to stop them in their tracks.

Operation EASTER is a campaign which was developed in Scotland and is now facilitated by the National Wildlife Crime Unit (NWCU) in conjunction with UK Police Forces and partner agencies.  The operation targets egg thieves by sharing intelligence across the UK to support enforcement action.

The taking of wild bird eggs is a serious crime yet it remains the pastime of some determined individuals.  Whole clutches of birds’ eggs can be taken from some of the UK’s rarest birds with potentially devastating impacts. The eggs are stored in secret collections.

Chief Inspector Martin Sims, head of the NWCU, said: “The NWCU will continue to work with partner agencies and bring people who commit offences involving birds and bird eggs before the courts.   We have had a lot of success during the last 12 months and our intention is to continue to support all UK police forces who are investigating such offences.”

If you have information on any wild bird’s egg thieves, or those who disturb rare nesting birds without a licence, you should contact your local or nearest police station by dialing 101 and ask to speak to a wildlife crime officer if possible. Nesting will be in full swing by April so please contact the police if you see anyone acting suspiciously around nesting birds, particularly those that nest in colonies.

Information can also be passed in confidence to Crimestoppers via 0800 555 111.